But this last week I served as a juror for the first time in my life. I sat through a criminal trial that ended as we found the defendant guilty of thirteen of the fourteen charges against him. Two of which were attempted murder. At the end of the trial the judge came to speak with all of us ~ all of the jurors. She began by telling us that there was, nearly every day of any given year, a different domestic violence case being tried in that courthouse. She apologized for the ineptness of the defense attorney, and told us, without going into detail, that she felt compelled, in her role as a judge, to take some action concerning this attorney. She thanked us over and over again for our service, assured us that we had done our job well, and told us that it was time for her to do her job. To sentence him. It was a very long, sad four days. My heart broke several times over those four days, but was most profoundly saddened by the thought that there were children growing up in the midst of all this violence and neglect.
Switch to yesterday. What a contrast! It was tuesday, and the trial was finished, and there were scrapbookers coming to crop!! Every tuesday morning several ladies gather up their photos, paper, memories and creativity and journey into my workshop space to put it all together in a book. A simple scrapbook. I was especially glad to see everyone yesterday ~ there was lots of chatter as everyone shared stories and ideas, paper, stickers....and lunch! It's an atmosphere that always cheers me up. Yesterday, as I looked at soccer photos and skating photos and lacrosse photos and prom photos and graduation photos and vacation photos...well, it wasn't so much the photos of the events that struck me, but the care being taken by the moms who were creating, in these books, a safe haven for all of these wonderful memories.
You see, for me, scrapbooks are keepers of the good. My scrapbooks remind me that there is so much in my life worth treasuring. Worth celebrating!! The making of each book helps me to focus on what is good, and right and excellent and praiseworthy. We choose to photograph and record the noble, lovely and admirable pieces of our life and world. And in the midst of the tragic (or even just in the midst of the monotonous and the mundane) how wonderful it is to have the ability and opportunity to focus on the good. I genuinely admire people who more naturally see the proverbial glass as half full. Being more melancholy by nature, I need some visual aids. Some reminders to help me get the eyes of my heart focused on all that water that IS actually in that glass! So I'm a scrapbooker. Who enjoys being surrounded by scrapbookers. And who is learning to hold on to the good ~ the good friends, the good memories, the good thoughts and the many opportunities to pull the good out of each and every day.
I'm glad that jury duty is done. And I'm grateful for the safety and love I had to come home to after facing the pain in that court room. With every page that I scrap, I hope to leave a little bit of that love as a legacy to anyone who ever visits those pages. In the mean time, the making of them sure does help me not to take the blessings for granted.